Have you been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or think you may have it. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, it can take up to 4 years to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Why does it take so long? The reason is because fibromyalgia is sort of a diagnosis you get if you fit the description and symptoms and nothing else can be found as the cause. Fibromyalgia is somewhat of a mystery and is not well understood. In the past it was looked upon as mostly a psychological condition, but more resent research has shown a possible link to chemical imbalances within the brain, resulting in a lower pain tolerance.
What is fibromyalgia? A basic definition is constant soreness and pain throughout the body. A diagnosis is made if you have pain in all 4 quadrants of the body for at least 3 months and tenderness or pain in 11 of 18 trigger points. Fibromyalgia patients also commonly suffer with fatigue, sleep disorders, and irritable bowels. More specifics on the condition can be found on Google Heath.
There is no blood test or diagnostic imaging that can be used to diagnose fibromyalgia. If fibromyalgia is suspected these tests will likely be run in order to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. A few possible causes are anemia, hypothyroidism, lyme disease, and hormonal imbalances.
Now lets discuss some possible natural approaches to managing your fibromyalgia. Some studies have shown taking a combination of 300 to 600 mg of magnesium per day with malic acid may significantly reduce the number and intensity of tender points.
Eat more omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are fish and flax seed. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to proper functioning of your nervous system and help reduce inflammation throughout the body that may be contributing to your pain.
Get good sleep. Try not to consume caffeine in the later half of the day. Don’t watch TV right before trying to go to sleep, especially not your CSI or similar shows that get your heart racing with the intensity and drama. There are several natural supplements that can also aid in getting good sleep. Chamomile and valerian root are two great herbs for relaxation. 5-HTP and melatonin are two other supplements that are very beneficial in helping individuals fall asleep and stay asleep.
Light aerobic exercises and stretching have been shown to be beneficial in reducing the intensity of pain. Once again, another great reason for exercise.
Chiropractic care has also been shown to be highly effective for the management of fibromyalgia. Your chiropractor can ensure your joints are functioning optimally which will minimize stress placed on your muscles and irritation to your nerves. Your doctor of chiropractic may also be able to advise you further nutritionally.
Fibromyalgia can be a very frustrating condition for both the patient and doctor. I hope this article will encourage you to try or at least investigate natural means of management for your fibromyalgia. If you have fibromyalgia please leave comments on natural methods you have tried that helped you.
February 18th, 2010 by Christopher Freytag, D.C.